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Ken, Thanks for the Thompson essay.  There was something there that I
took issue with but with a more careful reading I saw that he was
speaking of ***litery interpretation***, not ***literary criticism***.
I'll withhold my comments for now hoping that you or you speaking for
Thompson or someone else more literary than I can tell me the
difference.


I did catch Thompson saying:
   The third impulse that I have yielded to in order to retreat from
   the embarrassment of literary interpretation is that of the
   book-lover, the literary aesthete, that monster called the "hypocrite
   lecteur" by Charles Baudelaire. This is the man in Baudelaire's poem
   who reads contentedly of a hanging while smoking his hookah.
This doesn't seem to be what Baudelaire wrote but maybe it isn't really
important because it is Baudelaireish and makes a point anyway.


CR had sent us to "Au Lecteur" the other day.
   http://fleursdumal.org/poem/099

C'est l'Ennui! L'oeil chargé d'un pleur involontaire,
II rêve d'échafauds en fumant son houka.
Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,
— Hypocrite lecteur, — mon semblable, — mon frère!
                              *** Charles Baudelaire

He is Ennui! — His eye filled with an unwished-for tear,
He dreams of scaffolds while puffing at his hookah.
You know him, reader, this exquisite monster,
— Hypocrite reader, — my likeness, — my brother!
                              *** Eli Siegel translation

Regards,
    Rick Parker


> Some of the more recent threads and exchanges between Nancy and me a few
> weeks ago got me to thinking about putting up somewhere an address that
> my professor, Eric Thompson, gave some 45 years ago (don't have the
> exact date) that bears in multiple ways on the obstacles everyone faces
> to understanding Eliot or any literary creation. I realize that the
> regular contributors to this list have themselves pretty high definition
> ideas about how to read, and there is of course the chance that the
> piece will be read, if at all, more with an eye to "deconstruction" than
> to the suspension of belief and disbelief necessary to hear a whole
> thought spelled out in multiple phases. Playing the optimist that my
> wife thinks I am, the latter is what I urge.
>
> ...
>
> My thought is to leave it up a few days for the benefit and possible
> discussion of the list. But discussed or no, I trust you'll find it well
> considered and provocative. It is at http://www.clericalcut.com .
>
> Ken A
>